Truth Be Told – Kia Abdullah


Kamran Hadid feels invincible. He attends Hampton school, an elite all-boys boarding school in London, he comes from a wealthy family, and he has a place at Oxford next year. The world is at his feet. And then a night of revelry leads to a drunken encounter and he must ask himself a horrific question.

With the help of assault counsellor, Zara Kaleel, Kamran reports the incident in the hopes that will be the end of it. But it’s only the beginning…

Powerful, explosive and important, Truth Be Told is a contemporary courtroom drama that vividly captures today’s society. You will not stop thinking about it for a long time to come.

Kia Abdullah is an author and travel writer from London. Her novel Take It Back was named one of the best thrillers of the year by The Guardian and Telegraph and was selected for an industry-first audio serialisation by HarperCollins and The Pigeonhole.

Kia has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Times and The Telegraph, and is the founder of Asian Booklist, a non-profit organisation that advocates for diversity in publishing.

My Review:

I absolutely adored Kia Abdullah’s debut book Take It Back and was so excited to see she has a new book featuring Zara Kaleel, a rape counsellor with a background in law.

Still reeling from the fallout from her previous case Zara is struggling emotionally and mentally when a young Asian boy turns up at her office seeking help and support and claiming to have been raped by another male student at an exclusive boarding school in London.

Despite her office being a refuge and support for women only, there is something about young Kamran Hadid that Zara is drawn to and decides to take on his case.

Kamran is an intelligent, well-educated young man, brought up in a prestigious area of North London with a younger brother and affluent, well respected parents. Destined for Oxford his life has been carefully mapped out by his Muslim parents and he is on the path to greatness when the unthinkable happens.

Waking up after a drink fuelled party at school, Kamran’s life has been turned upside down when he finds himself the victim of a sexual violation. Confused, angry and ashamed he seeks Zara’s help having seen her defend another young rape victim and identifying with her because she is also Muslim.

There are so many deep aspects to this powerful story and once again Kia Abdullah has delivered an incredible thought-provoking and topical story. The dynamics between the Hadid family, the power struggles, the unreasonable and high expectations from Mack, the father for his sons, the internal struggle from Sophia, the mother to provide support and love was heartbreaking to witness. This family’s emotions and feelings were so real it was easy to forget they were a work of fiction because I was so invested in them.

This is so much more than an “He Said/He Said” story. It’s a story of family, faith, society and cultures. Fascinating, thought-provoking, moving, powerful and another 5 star book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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